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Poor People Living with HIV/AIDS Tell their Stories
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Tuesday, 29 July 2008 14:51

Children's Homes

When we opened our Adult AIDS hospice in 1993, we realized immediately that we would need a separate home – one we would not call a “hospice” – just for mothers and children. The home we created in the next year provided a beautiful and loving environment, where every mom and child received a high level of care, and where every child had the chance to go to school, make friends and explore a world of childhood opportunities in sports, music, and the arts without discrimination.

Before Medications Were Accessible:

Anti-viral medications were not available until 2003. Many Mercy children died without them, but many others beat the odds, and studied and played even harder than healthy children.  Although these children insisted on being treated the same as all children, in several very positive ways, they were different from their age peers: they were more sensitive and more caring. They seldom teased their younger siblings.  And they felt a joy in life and a love of friendship that was truly extraordinary.

And our family kept growing.

Following Access to Anti-viral Medications:

Today we care for over sixty children living with HIV/AIDS in our Mercy family.  Anti-viral medications are now available to all these children.  Our children living with HIV/AIDS still have serious health issues (a nurse is always on duty), but most are able to lead far more normal lives than before.

In 2012 we disbanded our single home for children with HIV/AIDS and moved all these children into our other Mercy homes, based on their sex and age. Much has changed, but these children are still among the kindest, most generous, caring and loving children in our family.

Challenges:

  • Teaching our children about the meaning of their HIV status
  • Preparing our older children to lead independent lives as young adults outside of Mercy Centre

Related video:
Thai children given a chance against Aids

Related Mercy Centre HIV/AIDS Programs:

Education/Outreach 

Home-based Care

Bridge-of-Hope Caring Centre